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Buying an older car could provide us with immense value, since the car already depreciates significantly during the first few years. One big trade off is that we are not the first one who drove the car and we don’t have any idea how the car was treated. If we are lucky enough, we should get proper history reports of the car. Unfortunately, it is possible that we have no real information about how the car was treated. When purchasing a new car, we should make sure that all components related to car safety are working properly. We should check when air filter and oil were changed.

It is also important for us to check the conditions of belts and hoses. We should also consider the health of suspension. When we first test drive the car, we should check whether the tires are not balanced and this could be an indication that the suspension is worn. If our car is getting older, we should decide what kinds of actions that we need to take to ensure that the car is in a good working order. Fixing an old car may range from easy shade tree jobs to very complex ones that require the engine or transmission block removed from the car. When determining the proper type of car repair tasks, we should know things that are worthwhile and those that are not.

We shouldn’t leave these tasks to unreliable mechanics, because they may not do a good job with our car. There are things that we can do in our garage, such as replace the air filter, change wiper blades, replace spark plugs, replace the battery, change the oil and replace the coolant. When we attempt to do these things, we should judge them on scales of complexity and safety. It means that we could hurt ourselves doing these things. We should be aware that it is possible for us to damage the car when we are trying to fix it. The task shouldn’t be too complicated that it is very hard to do and we need to purchase expensive special tools.

Eventually, we will need to replace our older car and this can be determined by specific circumstances in our life. There’s no direct answer on when we should get rid of our car. However, we should take into accounts factors like personal finances, car usage pattern and reliability. One big factor is when repairing the car will cost higher than the car is worth. As an example, some Ford Escort models are notorious for their expensive power steering rack and repairing it will cost more than buying another. In this situation, it should make a good financial sense to replace the car.

In general, it is recommended to keep our car and take care of it until it drops. This should help us to save us money all around. We should find out when we have reached the tipping point, when the cost of maintenance has outweighed the cost of making monthly loan payments for the new car.

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